Module details for Mental Health Psychology: Living with a Diagnosis


This module examines the psychology of mental health disorders and explores how patients experience their illness.


The aim of this module is to provide students with an awareness of how people diagnosed with a mental illness feel and how it impacts cognitive processes and behaviour. We will look at the symptomology, treatment and outcomes for patients, as well as how living with a diagnosis impacts cognition beyond the changes linked with their underlying condition.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  Demonstrate a critical understanding of the complexity of clinical assessment, formulation, aetiology and treatment processes.

2.  Evaluate the role of clinical and health psychology in a modern mental health service by assessing its contribution to the promotion of health and alleviation of distress.

3.  Understand the impact a mental health diagnosis has on cognitive processes and behaviour in patients.

4.  Demonstrate a critical understanding of the importance of scientific rigor and measurement in clinical and health psychology.

Indicative Content

1 Models to aid diagnosis

Introduction to the use of biopsychosocial models in the diagnosis of mental ill health.

2 Understanding causes

Exploration of the biological, psychological and environmental causes of mental health disorders such as psychoses, mood disorders, developmental disorders or learning difficulties.

3 Treatment and outcomes

Investigate treatment options for patients with disorders and categories of distress, evaluate research on treatment outcomes for different categories of patients.

4 Lived experience

Consideration of the lived experience of patients from symptom onset, diagnoses and treatment, experience of the clinicians and health workers in supporting patients with mental illness.

5 Prognosis and life after treatment

Evaluating how patients with different categories of distress respond to treatment, how their biological and environmental circumstances influence prognosis, and managing mental health conditions long term.




Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 12
Tutorial/Seminar 18
Practical Activity 0
Assessment 50
Independent 120
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.